Al-Maliki, Nouri (Iraq)

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Nouri al-Maliki was appointed Iraq’s prime minister designate in April 2006. He succeeded his fellow member of the conservative Shia Muslim al-Dawa group, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who had been unable to curb the violent insurgency or create alliances with Sunni and Kurdish factions since elections in Dec. 2005. Al-Maliki, who once commanded Shia forces against Saddam Hussein’s regime from exile in Syria, promised an inclusive government. Although his first administration struggled to achieve a lasting political consensus, levels of violence did subside and in Nov. 2008 parliament approved an agreement with the USA that all US troops leave the country by the end of 2011. Al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition came second at elections in March 2010 but he remained in office and sought to construct a workable coalition that was eventually approved by parliament at the end of that year. Sectarian and ethnic divisions and frequent associated violence have nevertheless continued to...

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